We have been managing a covered call strategy on SDC for well over a year now. The excellent option premiums received when we roll the calls on a weekly basis have resulted in the options generating a profit of $53,309 in addition to the $90,921 generated by the stock..
The graph below illustrates the daily profit of the stock and options. It covers the period starting Jan 24 when we started with a new tracking system. The blue line on the graph shows the drop in stock profit from over $200,000 in January to under $100,00. Covered calls have offset some of this decline. The red line shows the increase in option profits from a loss to a profit of $60,000. Considering the stock has dropped from over $14 to $11 we are pleased with result (we initially purchased the stock at under $5). It is challenging to find a covered call strategy where both the stock and options are generating profits.
The approach has allowed us to build up a nice long term capital gain we can sell to “titrate” against short term losses generated by rolling up options on other covered call positions.
Overall we are happy with the return being generated but we have left a lot of money on the table in the last six weeks by being conservative with the strike prices we are writing. The market has us nervous……and leaning to downside protection….but it is costing us money.
Information below summarizes how our CC Strategy on LNC is performing after 267 days. We are generating profit of $23,009 (including $2,040 in dividends). The graph tracks the daily profit/loss for the stock and options over time. We started using a new tracking system in January so it does not have all for the history. From the graph it is clear we have left money on the table by writing call options that were too conservative (either “at the money” or slightly “in the money”). The stock profit (blue line) and option loss (red line) are basically offsetting leaving us with a net profit that has been flat since Feb 7. If we believe LNC will continue to perform well we should be more aggressive and sell out of the money options (which reduce our downside protection) or add out of the money bull put spreads.
The position has returned 32% or 43% annualized……but it could be doing much better if we had adjusted our approach.
From a taxable viewpoint the options have generated short term losses of $33,911 some of which we used in 2020 taxes. Holding the stock until 6/25/2021 will allow us to pay long term capital gains on the $54,880 gain.
We were assigned on Mar 19 $70 Call options on INMD this morning. We had an order in to roll the options to Apr 16 $70 Calls but didn’t get filled (couldn’t get a reasonable premium) so the shares got called away. Disappointing as our preference is to hold the stock for 12 months before allowing it to get called away so we pay long term capital versus short term capital gains.
We believe INMD is a good long term stock to hold and plan on establishing a new position next week.
The chart below shows the daily progression of the profit/loss on the position. The shares rose from our purchases price of $52.71 in January to over $70 on Friday. We rolled up the options three times. Despite rolling up the options we did not collect enough premium to offset the costs of rolling. The options lost $1,972.
Table below shows the transactions associated with the position.
YTD IB account is up 13.3% vs the S&P up 5.7%. The account is within $1000 of all time high. My Schwab accounts are down 5% from all time highs…..despite much more effort managing those accounts. Maybe too much effort!
In the Schwab accounts I have been experimenting with Iron Condors, Bull Puts spreads, SPY, dividend capture strategies and the TastyTrade guidelines (set up positions with 45 “Days to Expire” and exiting at 50% of max profit or 21 DTE. Too early to tell but so far the IB approach of setting up weekly or monthly covered calls and letting them run their course seems to be performing better. The Schwab accounts are much larger requiring more positions for diversity.
On Mar 9 we established a covered call on WMB by purchasing 500 shares of WMB at $24.16 and selling a Mar 12 $23.50 Call. Share price appreciated after the purchase. On 3/10 we bought back the Mar 12 $23.50 covered call and sold the Mar 12 $24 covered call to avoid the shares getting called away before the ex-div date of 3/11. The stock closed at $23.99 on 3/10. Last night the shares got called away as the dividend of $.41 was too attractive to the holder of the short call. Unfortunately we don’t get to collect the 500 shares x $.41 dividend but the transaction generated a good return for a 2 day investment. To avoid assignment we could have bought back the Mar 12 $24 Call and sold the Mar 12 $25….but we didn’t check the position prior to market closing and thought the earlier roll from $23.50 to $24 had protected the dividend.
A $385 profit in an account of any size isn’t very significant on a “one off” basis. If the practice of “capturing dividends” works over we will increase the number of shares/options in the position. Main concern is a “bad” week when the market/stock drops more than the protection offered by the dividend and we incur a large loss that wipes out the cumulative gains from the past weeks.
The trade ideas are coming from a screen on Optionsamurai.com (paid subscription). The screen identifies candidates for the strategy and recommends a strike price. The strike prices are mostly “at the money”. Writing “in the money” options would increase the downside protection but it would also reduce the return. Plan is to identify 5 to 10 candidates for the strategy each week. For tax purposes I would prefer to capture the dividend versus getting the shares assigned and generating a short term capital gain (although any “gain” is preferred versus a loss!).
On 3/8 we established a covered call with the intent of capturing a dividend. We purchased 500 shares of FOXA shares and sold a Mar 12 $41 Call. The dividend of $.21 went exdiv of 3/9. We sold the shares on 3/10. The shares appreciated in value generating a gain of $315. The stock appreciation resulted in the option losing $182 when we repurchased the option to close the position. The dividend generated $115. Overall the position generated $255 in profit in two days.
This is one of our first attempts at using covered calls to capture a dividend and exit the position immediately after it goes exdiv. We have a number of similar positions to see if we can consistently generate good short term profit with the strategy.
It is much easier (and fun) to manage your investments in a flat or up market. Down markets take knowledge and skills that I am improving but still have lots to learn.
Market has been tough the past six days. Doing my best to protect the gains from the past year…and have cash available if we see some bargains. In the past week I have reduced the number (tried to keep the less volatile stocks) and size of the positions. In the chart on the right the green line is the swing in cash (from carrying margin of $150,000 to cash of $100,000).
Hopefully we can continue to protect the capital and have either the patience to wait or be successful in testing some bearish strategies.
Unfortunately my Schwab accounts have been hit harder as the positions are much larger and more complicated to get in and out of. The iron condors are holding up…so far…but if the market keeps falling they will create some challenges.
Table below is tracking the open Iron Condors (IC), Bull Put Spreads (BuPS) and Diagonal Bull Put Spreads (DiagBuPS). So far the combination of put strategies is generating a profit of $5,231. We have $135,300 of capital “reserved” against the positions. Return on Capital is 3.87% in less than a month. The Diagonal Put Spreads are showing a loss…not unexpected as the goal is to write additional Put options against the base position over the next several months. Not included are a couple of adjustments. The initial IC on ABT was too “tight” (difference between the strike price of the short put and short call). We closed the position and established a new one with more width. We also reduced the size if the position from 30 contracts to 10…..we don’t have enough experience for IC with 30 contracts. The position was closed for a $1,200 profit that is not included. We made similar adjustments to the DXCM and SPY positions (wider width) at minimal cost.
It has been challenging to achieve the “tasty trade” recommendation of generating premium = 1/3 of the width between the strike prices (example long put at $110 and short put at $115 …..$5 spread x 1/3).
Unfortunately it is very time consuming to track the strategies. The download from Schwab does not include the “strategy” information even though Schwab do include it in the online account summary information. Downloaded historical and current information needs to be put in a table and queried. Over time I hope to figure out a more efficient way to track the individual strategies. Recommendations are welcome!
AMZN CC strategy continues to perform well. Tables below show the continued progress. In late January I switched the tracking software so the graph starts with the historical profit on the stock, option and net as of Jan 25. In the tables below it shows our all time profits on AMZN as well as the Current Position Profit. On the right is the current position in our portfolio.
The table below shows the importance of the call premiums. On 1/25/21 we had a profit on the stock of $90,011 and a loss on the options of $5,700 for net gain of $84,311. In the next 25 days the net price of AMZN declined and our profit on the stock dropped from $90,011 to $85,601. The option premiums collected during the 25 days (we rolled the options 14 times….to mostly ATM strike prices) improved the profitability on the options from ($5,700) to $7,019. Despite the drop in stock profit our overall net profit on the position increased from $84,311 to $92,620. Historically we have been challenged to create profit on the short options as the stock price continually increased. In the past 25 days the covered call strategy is performing the way we would hope.
This is not investment advice. I am sharing a position that has worked out well for me. No guarantee that it will work out in the future. Individual investor….not a licensed professional.